An Introduction To German Volume Training

There are a lot of set and rep schemes that have been used throughout the decades by individuals looking to build muscle and strength.


Some of the most popular ones include:

  • 5x5
  • 3x10
  • 4x8
  • 5x10


Perhaps no set and rep scheme has garnered the mystery and mystique of 10x10 -- German Volume Training (GVT).


German Volume Training, as the name implies, is all about hammering your muscles with lots of volume -- 10 sets of 10 reps as a matter of fact.


While it might seem simple enough in concept, GVT is NOT easy. It’s ball-bustingly hard, both mentally and physically.


As such, German Volume Training is not recommended for beginners (or even early intermediates). It is for those individuals who are past newbie gains, have built a robust base of muscle and strength, and are looking to break through a muscle-building plateau.


How to Perform German Volume Training

Select an exercise, such as the barbell bench press, and perform 10 sets of 10 reps.


Now, you won’t be using your typical 10-rep max (or even your 12-rep max). The reason for this is that you’re not simply doing 3 or 4 sets of the exercise. You’re performing 10 sets.


As such, you’ll begin with a weight that is roughly 60% of your 1RM.


Now, the first few sets won’t seem that taxing, but they serve as a sort of “pre-exhaust.” The real grind (mentally and physically) comes when you start hitting sets 7, 8, 9 and 10. By this point, your muscles are fatiguing, your lungs are burning, and your mind is telling you to hurry up and get this s*** over with!


Rest periods are also tightly monitored during GVT. They should be kept between 60-90 seconds. 90 seconds is the usual rest period for compound exercises (bench, squat, rows, pull ups, dips, etc.) and 60 seconds are for isolation exercises (curls, pushdowns, laterals, etc.).

Structuring a GVT Workout

Given the intensity and amount of volume with which you’re hammering your muscles, the number of exercises you do for a specific body part. You’re essentially trading variation for volume.


The typical GVT workout split is as follows:

  • Day 1: Chest and Back
  • Day 2: Legs and Abs
  • Day 3: Off
  • Day 4: Arms and Shoulders
  • Day 5: Off

When Day 6 rolls around, you can either start the cycle over again or take another rest day and restart the cycle on Day 7. Believe us, if you’re really pushing hard during these workouts, you’ll need all the food and rest you can get!


Here are some example GVT Workouts using the training schedule above:

Chest & Back

  • Incline Bench Press: 10 x 10
  • Chest Supported Row: 10 x 10
  • Cable Crossovers: 3x10-12
  • Chin Ups: 3xAMRAP

Legs & Abs

  • Seated Leg Curls: 10x10
  • Hack Squats: 10x10
  • Hanging Leg Raises: 3x10-15
  • Seated Calf Raise: 3x15-20

Shoulders & Arms

  • Dips: 10x10
  • Incline dumbbell curls: 10x10
  • Cable lateral raises: 3x10-15
  • Rear delt flyes: 3x15-20


GVT is not for the faint of heart. If you’re scared of hard work or crave endless variety in your workouts, it also isn’t for you.


If you want to build muscle, increase mental fortitude, and boil things down to brass tacks, then GVT is worth a shot.

But, remember, you need to EAT to fuel your workouts and recovery.


GVT isn’t a program you do when cutting, stressed out, or deprived of sleep. It’s intense and high volume, which demands proper nutrition as well as a high-performance pre workout, like HyperMax-3D!


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